“Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in an interview posted to his YouTube channel on Saturday that the US and its Western allies ‘blocked’ his efforts of mediating between Russia and Ukraine to bring an end to the war in its early days.
On March 4, 2022, Bennett traveled to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin. In the interview, he detailed his mediation at the time between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which he said he coordinated with the US, France, Germany, and the UK.
Bennett said that both sides agreed to major concessions during his mediation effort. For the Russian side, he said they dropped ‘denazification’ as a requirement for a ceasefire. Bennett defined ‘denazification’ as the removal of Zelensky. During his meeting in Moscow with Putin, Bennett said the Russian leader guaranteed that he wouldn’t try to kill Zelensky.
The other concession Russia made, according to Bennett, is that it wouldn’t seek the disarmament of Ukraine. For the Ukrainian side, Zelensky ‘renounced’ that he would seek NATO membership, which Bennett said was the “reason” for Russia’s invasion.
But ultimately, the Western leaders opposed Bennet’s efforts. ‘I’ll say this in the broad sense. I think there was a legitimate decision by the West to keep striking Putin and not [negotiate],’ Bennett said.”